We talked to several friends trying to come up with ideas for what to build, and they kept bringing up their pets. Anything from pets escaping from the backyard to knowing whether or not someone fed the dog dinner. We decided to tackle the latter of these problems. So we made a simple way to keep track of when your pet was fed, and who was feeding it.
How it works
A raspberry pi with an LCD screen is placed above the pet's food bowl. Whenever someone feeds the pet, they simply push "their" button (the buttons are predesignated to each family member). The raspberry-pi sends the data to a server which updates the website to show who fed the dog, and how long ago it was. The website also keeps a detailed record of when the pet has been fed in the past. This is aimed to simplify a number of every day problems, including keeping tabs on pet-sitters. This technology is also convenient for larger facilities such as kennels and animal shelters that need to keep track of the feeding schedules for several animals.
Challenges I ran into
Configuring the server was an initial challenge for our team. We struggled to get the angular.js framework to interpret the data from the server. I had to overcome my intense crippling fear of cats.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We are very pleased with how well all three components of our system work together. We are also really proud of how well our product came out using, in some cases, very poor tools (mostly a terrible soldering iron). The clean and simple look of our website is something that we take great pride in. overcoming my intense crippling fear of cats.
What I learned
We learned how to set up a server using the Flask framework and python. We also learned how to style SVG images, and learned a lot about using Bluemix to host a server. Cats are mostly alright.
What's next for Kibbles and Bytes
We are planning on combing Kibbles and Bytes with Who's Home, a previous project we worked on which keeps track of who is at home. Combining these two technologies will allow Kibbles and Bytes to alert the family members who are home to feed the dog when they have forgotten, as well as provide a critical step towards creating the ultimate smart home.